Our Guide To Notting Hill Carnival

It’s Carnival on Sunday and Monday! Here’s some stuff any decent human being who’s spent a summer in London should already know.

If you’re into smoking weed and drinking in the street with all your friends, loads of different cultures and loads of different types of really loud, proper music, then don’t go to a guest list only energy drink party (however well some of their recent projects have been - RBMA etc etc etc). We all love a free drink, it’s nice to be on a guestlist (makes you feel special) and David Rodigan is playing this year. BUT out of all the days of the year you choose to be a mincer, the day 2,000,000 people descend on the richest borough of London to have a good time is definitely not the day.


Sure, this is what carnival’s all about in a way, but this stuff is for kids and tourists really. If you want to watch a bunch of tweens dancing around in leotards just go work in the repair center of the nearest PC World to Matthew Kelly’s house. If you go to Carnival, go to the stages run by real life black people and dance about, it’s more fun than papermache figures. And don’t think you can just check them out for half an hour - you’ll spend the rest of your day walking like a bride and queuing at police barriers  trying to get the fuck out of there.

Gaz’s Rockin’ Blues is a club that happens on every Thursday at St Maritz in Soho and caters to badly behaved aristocrats, literate coke dealers, 17 year old public school girls and old guys who tell those girls lies and ply them with drugs in the hopes they’ll cop a feel (they never do). Every year they do a stage that plays old ska and calypso, and if you’re a fan of those things and hot rich girls coked off their tits and after a bit of rough, then this is the stage for you. Those girls are dying for it, they’ve spent all year in techno clubs fending off the advances of Italian dukes in chest revealing shirts and aviators and they’re hoping to at least make out with someone who doesn’t wear Osaka Tiger boxing boots and have softer hands than them. So get on it.

For some reason, all the after-parties for carnival are miles away, and all feature the normal things you find in clubs: people who aren’t your friends, bouncers, expensive drinks and someone who isn’t you choosing the music. If you stick around in west London after the carnival’s shut up shop, you’ll find that it turns into a weird, anarchic wasteland of (very large) house parties. If you can find your way into one of these (go to Gaz’s at 6.45pm and follow the crowds) you’ll probably have a lot of fun. Failing that you should probably just got to Plan B in Brixton.

If you’ve got friends who live in west London, bully for you, that’s where you’re gonna spend the night. But if instead of mixing with the rest of us, you spend the day hanging out on the balcony of their place waving at the crowds below like you’re somehow apart from the general public and are responsible for the carnival in some way, you’re a cunt. You look like the friend of a famous person who’s pretending to get annoyed with the paparazzi but is secretly loving it. You look like you’re in Peaches Geldof’s entourage, get back inside.

Jerk Chicken is fucking delicious, jerk is some sort of spicy BBQ marinade that Jamaica invented to make all the gun crime, poverty and gay murdering less painful to deal with on a day to day basis. It’s really brilliant, but don’t buy it at carnival because it’s impossible to eat with plastic forks out of a plastic tray and they don’t cut the succulent breast meat into manageable chunks, they just hit a whole chicken twice with a cleaver and give you a quarter. This means you have to navigate all the ribs, bones and gristle with a single weak polystyrene utensil, which either breaks off in the meat or pierces the plastic tray, then you have to sit on a piss covered doorstep pretending you’re loving it.

Blaise Bellville is the sociopathic, vicious, arch-capitalist entrepreneur who runs Platform, and people love to hate him because he went to boarding school and ruins people’s houses when he’s drunk. Everyone at Platform agrees he’s a cunt, but Jesus Christ does he know and love Jamaican music. Last year he made a mix for carnival that he hasn’t bothered to top this year because it was so good. Find it here and listen to it.

That’s all really. Have fun xxx



  • Danger August 27, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    fuck off

  • Jjj August 28, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    “If you’re not into smoking weed and drinking in the street with all your friends, loads of different cultures and loads of different types of really loud, proper music, then don’t go to a guest list only energy drink party to listen to ‘reggae mashups’.”

    shouldn't this start “if you're in to” not “not into”?

    Also, how old was the person that wrote this? I know Platform is about 'yoof', but do you really think letting 14 yr olds write articles is a good idea?

  • Errr no August 28, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    LOL what do you know about carnival? This sounds all wrong. And Jamaica is the only Caribbean island mentioned in this, when Carnival isn't just about Jamaicans. Maybe you should learn about why the Carnival started in the first place!?

    “If you go to Carnival, go to the stages run by real life black people and dance about, it’s more fun than papermache figures”

    Real life black people? Piss off, you patronising piece of wank

  • alice August 29, 2010 at 1:19 am

    you guys know fuck all about carnival
    for a start, by 'stages' i assume you mean sound-systems.. there hasnt been a stage at notting hill for manyy years, second of all the only sound-system you mention is the one run by white people.. well done on finding the 'real life black people', as for the 'floats' and 'papermache figures' most of these aree actually are made by 'real life black people' who put alot of time and effort into getting funding and then making them, and i really doubt you'll find any papermache, that also hasnt been done for manyy years, so yet again well done.. the 'tweens' only dance around in 'leotards' on the sunday so if thats your issue just go on monday… you dont have to que to se costumes depending what road your on..
    and thats only the beggining of all the things wrong with this.. maybe just give up now..

    • bishopdante September 1, 2010 at 7:02 pm

      RIP my hometown.

      RIP the afro carribean community. They're like an endangered species here these days. My sound pays homage to their sound.

      RIP all people of less than merchant banking wealth.

      Throw rocks at the blue door.

  • ..... August 29, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    this is the worst thing I ever read, It's patronising and full of shit. i'm embarrassed for you

  • Martinclunes August 29, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    nice guys! bunch of boarding school kids writing about carnival. nice. see you on ledbury road you ponies!

  • bishopdante September 2, 2010 at 2:04 am

    descend on London's richest borough.

    The level of skin squirm is serious.

    Nº1 richest borough of london is the city of London (they also don't follow parliamentary procedures, they're fully medieval).

    Notting Hill is the most *expensive*. I've had guys in armani suits begging *me?!* for change. There's people on £180k a year plus bonuses who complain about having no money.

    Nº2 the carnival is from way back. It's only past 7 years this area has been global headlines levels of overpriced & the bankers all moved in for that “trendy” feel & nice houses “near the city”. That's where the expenditure, the money, derives from. City of London.

    They probably would have done it earlier, but back in the day you couldn't be rich or snobby, you'd get robbed. Our streets were tough, but not evil, more friendly thuggage. That meant protection for some (eg jamaican grandma) & robbery for yuppies. Those post-crack rastas were well bad tho, like evil matted dread crackheads. They were the excuse for the social re-engineering works of the late 90s.

    CCTV then that movie. I've seen how happy the big landlords are. I've met them. The big ones. They funded the film. You know, the one with no black people in it.

  • Aduke King September 6, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    i don't know why it's taken me so long to see this post but i just laughed at the jerk chicken bit. had some super shit Jamaican food at a festival and i just turned all Nigerian and pretended it was new to me and that i enjoyed it.

    just read all the comments and now i could be a twat, turn back Jamaican and say what they're all saying but i've never been so what you're saying could all be true. do people actually call each other 'ponies'?


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